Monday, December 13, 2010


I've loved 6music since first I heard it back in 2007.

I even wrote to my MP when the station was threatened with closure in 2009 (he wrote back in a favourable but non committal sort of way, unsurprising for a politician, surprising for a tory)

Over the weekend I thought to myself "this station needs to play some Juliana Hatfield, that's what I need right now" .

Tonight, loading the dishwasher.

The Juliana Hatfield Three!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wymondham Abbey

I've always been fortunate to live in places that inspire.
Wherever I have lived there has been somewhere that I can go to to lift the soul.
Wymondham is full of such nooks and crannies, although I would hardly classify the 900 year old abbey as either a 'nook' or a 'crannie'.
For your pleasure, a December Saturday afternoon running around the grounds.

Looking south over the sheep meadow. The remains of the Abbey prior to the dissolution in 1538 are visible as lumps in the meadow.
Hen sitting on top of some of Henry VIII's rubble.
The ruined East tower.
ASBO behaviour, 1754 style.
The East tower from within.
Doorway, East tower.
East Tower.
Hen inside East Tower.
The Arch, looking over towards the sheep meadow.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Uncle Bill

Billy Bragg and I have previous. Lots of previous.

I'll go into that later because tonight, tonight in the ice and the snow and sudden mid gig queasiness about the difficult journey home I fell in love with Billy Bragg. Fell in love all over again.
I stood in the middle, twenty feet from the front, surrounded by other greying, bellied fans. Intermingled were the newer cohorts of fans but for the most part the audience reflected the main attraction, middle aged, self depreciatory and curious.
I wasn't beering it up and there was no smoke, it was my first HD gig.

Twenty years ago I had been at the same gig in another part of town and had listened to Billy rail against nostalgia. He had no time for it, the struggle had to move onwards, not back. Therefore he was not going to play any of the old stuff. That , along with every album after 'Workers Playtime' and up to 'Mermaid Avenue' put Billy on the back burner. I was 18 and he was singing about the difficulties involved with getting a decent babysitter.

Times change. Tonight I got a decent babysitter and drove the car to the University and watched Billy rail through his classic back catalogue. I don't think it's nostalgia, I think he has understood that he's an entertainer and that we want to be entertained, entertained by some of the most wonderful, lyrical, rock and roll of the past 30 years. We were also entertained and provoked by his observations, the banter and the two drunken extremists who started a fight in the corner and got thrown out. This would not have been relevant had it not been right at the front and the security men taken a long and somewhat heavy handed approach to the whole proceedings. It was almost like a piece of tourism form the 1980s.

A wonderful night, just what the soul had been asking for. Just what the ears needed.